Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki in the top 3 under floodlights
The World Supersport championship riders had their first taste of riding under floodlights in the opening two Free Practice sessions of their season finale at the Losail International circuit this evening with the 2014 World Champion Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) emerging on top in a session that saw the first 11 riders covered by less than a second.
Improving by almost a second on his FP1 time that saw him comfortably ahead of the rest of the field, the newly crowned Supersport champion clung on to the overall number one spot ahead of the revelation of the French round at Magny-Cours Lucas Mahias who repaid the faith placed on him by the DMC-Panavto Yamaha squad.
Roberto Tamburini (San Carlo Puccetti Kawasaki) was 3rd ahead of Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda), Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) and former champion Kenan Sofuoglu (San Carlo Puccetti Kawasaki) who completed the top six.
Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) crashed unhurt with five minutes to go of the second session to go causing a short delay as the track was cleared, he eventually finished 9th.
Newly crowned FIM Europe Superstock 600cc Champion Marco Faccani was an impressive 14th on his debut with the San Carlo Puccetti Kawasaki team despite a crash upon the restart to FP2.
Local Qatari rider Naser Al Malki was given the opportunity of his career to date after visa problems prevented Martin Cardenas from riding the CIA Insurance Honda. The WSS debutant rode to a credible 20th position overall and is well placed to challenge for a point scoring finish on Sunday.
American PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) had a day to forget, suffering a technical problem early on that left him languishing in 20th position.